Coyotes owner plans to buy land in Mesa, letter of intent says

By Jill Ryan
Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, August 9, 2023 - 4:33pm

The Arizona Coyotes have released a statement confirming that their owner, Alex Meruelo, plans to purchase a parcel of land in Mesa.

The letter of intent said that the land will be the potential site for a sports arena and entertainment district for the club.

The Coyotes said they remain committed to building Arizona’s first privately funded arena and will be exploring other potential sites.

This comes after a recent vote in Tempe denying the team a permanent home in that city.

“We appreciate the tremendous support that we have received from many communities, elected officials and community leaders who have expressed their desire to see the Coyotes remain in the Valley permanently,” the team said in a statement. “We would also like to thank NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly for their steadfast support of the club’s efforts to find a permanent arena solution and for their recognition that Arizona is a tremendous hockey market.”

The Coyotes are going into their second season at 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University. New NHL Players’ Association executive director Marty Walsh has raised concerns about the situation there and said the union would like the team to figure out a sustainable long-term solution.

At the draft in Nashville in late June, team president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said the Coyotes had identified six possible sites for a new building in the east valley in the 101 Highway corridor that covers the cities of Scottsdale, Phoenix and Mesa — none of which would require a public vote.

Weeks earlier at the start of the Stanley Cup Final in Las Vegas, Bettman reaffirmed the league's commitment to Arizona, where the team moved to in 1996 from Winnipeg. The team has since played in three different arenas, initially in downtown Phoenix, then Glendale and Tempe.

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